This Is Why Sports Cars Have Low Suspension

This Is Why Sports Cars Have Low Suspension

Why do sports cars have low suspension? Isn’t anyone concerned about running over some bumps on the road? What about road imperfections? Has anyone given a thought to that?

Sports cars have low suspensions to increase their aerodynamics and maximize stability. This is why most sports cars you see on the road are built wide and low.

Sports Cars Have Low Suspension
Sports Cars Have Low Suspension

Sports cars have a singular purpose: to perform the best laps on the race track. To do that, aerodynamics, handling, and road traction have to be the very best. The best engine doesn’t always guarantee a win. Aerodynamics can only get you so far.

The key to achieving the best lap times is to ensure you maximize the performance of each tire. That means all four have to be in constant contact with the road at all times.

How Do Car Suspensions Work?

Your suspension system does three things:

  • Maximize traction
  • Provide steering stability
  • Ensure passenger comfort

A car’s suspension acts as an intervening structure to the vertical motion it experiences when it hits a road imperfection. On the race track, this is inconsequential. Race tracks are flat and with virtually no imperfections present.

Based on Newton’s laws of motion, all forces have magnitude and direction. Your tires are the primary contact point between your car and the road. Any imperfections it hits will cause it to move up and down as it adjusts to the changes in levels. Going up is fine. Slamming back down isn’t.

Remember, the accumulated force of your velocity plus the weight of the car on top of the rolling chassis can wreak havoc on the entire vehicle. That’s how the lack of a suspension affects your car on the surface.

Inside, things will eventually come loose thanks to the constant jarring effect it experiences. Nuts and bolts, in particular, can come loose or get sheared off. Rubber gaskets can only take so much abuse before they too get torn and expose metal on metal.

Without a working suspension to act as a damper, this will cause massive discomfort and loss of vehicular control and traction. At high speeds, this can cause a catastrophic event to happen.

Suspensions also shift the weight of the car to retain road traction. This weight transfer is called body roll, and a little is good especially when cornering.

Why Is This Important?

Sports cars have low suspension to counter the effects of inertia. Inertia forces a car to lean towards the outside of a turn during steep cornering maneuvers.

Weight transfers to the outside wheels decreasing the traction of the inside tires. This body roll is expected.

Sports Car With Low Suspension

A taller car will have excessive shift, raising the risk of rolling the car over. This is why sports cars have low suspension and wide bodies.

The aerodynamics of having a car that sits lower also improves. With less air flowing underneath, the drag coefficient is lessened. Lesser drag equals faster cars.

Handling also improves with the lower center of gravity, giving the car a snappier report when entering hard into steep curves. With all four wheels tightly grounded, shifting from side to side, provides a more solid experience.

All of these things can lead to increased driver confidence. That ultimately spells out into a better lap time around the track.

And this concept isn’t just for sports cars. This can also be applied to your regular daily-driven car.

Why Do Regular People Lower Their Regular Car’s Suspensions?

Lowering your suspension isn’t just for sports cars and race cars. It also isn’t just for improving handling either. Some people just lower their suspensions because it looks good. It works for all types of vehicles. Cars, trucks, buses, everything just looks better when it sits closer to the ground.

Some Advantages When You Do That:

Lower Center Of Gravity

Lowering your car, even if only for an inch or two, instantly gives it a lower center of gravity. The lower the center of gravity, the better the handling.

Better Looks

It’s no secret, one way to instantly raise your car’s aesthetic appeal is to have it sit lower to the ground. An old Ford Escort looks better lowered than its prescribed stock height.

Body Roll Is Minimized

Regular cars are notorious for having excessive body roll. This is because they aren’t designed to be driven the way sports cars are. Cushy springs for the suspension provide comfort, which is a daily-driven car’s top priority.

A more rigid suspension may negate comfort, but it also does the same thing for the body roll.

And Now For The Disadvantages:

Certain sacrifices have to be made when you lower your suspension.

Ground Clearance Is Basically Gone

Lowering your suspension means you’ll also lower the entire car down. Your car’s body sits closer to the ground. Conventional cars sit 6 to 8 inches off the ground. That’s enough to help you avoid small rocks and bottoming out when encountering speed bumps.

Tire Rubbing Inside The Wheel Wells

Closer proximity between your tires and the wheel wells will lead to tire rubbing. This is especially true if you’re turning at extreme degrees.

The vertical motion can also make your tires bump against the side wall even if you’re just going straight.

Say Goodbye To Creature Comforts

Conventional cars are built for comfort. Making modifications to it will essentially change how it was initially supposed to perform. A change in suspension will definitely affect the ride height, travel, and quality.

Get ready for a bumpy ride if you’re hell-bent on lowering your suspension.

Living With A Lower Suspension

Say you have a regular car that you want to lower just to get that sporty look, a lower suspension and some changes in how it drives is expected. Now let’s say you finally got your hands on that sports car with the sport-tuned suspension. Say this is your first time to ever drive one. What should you expect when you drive a sports car with a lowered suspension?

Swapping out comfort for the sake of performance is a real thing in auto sports. For most production sports cars, the suspension is lowered enough to accommodate race track and regular road use.

But which would you rather have? A fast car on the race track or a comfortable ride as you cross the finish line?

Here what you should expect:

The Ride Won’t Be Comfortable

You just plunked down a huge load of cash for a sports car, and you expect a world of comfort, right? Wrong. A sports car is a performance machine with little, to no frills. Its main reason for existing is to go fast.

It will be hot inside. Noisy and cramped.

Small bumps that you’d ignore in a daily driven car are major obstacles for these cars.

Getting stuck in traffic is a potential overheating incident about to happen.

Things will break down if you push it hard daily, and replacement parts are going to be hard to find as well as expensive.

And fuel? Well, that’s going to break the bank with the increasingly alarming prices presented to the public today.

So, still want a sports car? I’m sure you do!

That’s the spirit!

Getting Inside A Sports Car

Owning a sports car may be expensive, but the fun you get driving one is priceless!

Related Questions:

Does Having A Rear Spoiler Improve My Car’s Aerodynamics?

There’s a huge misconception going around that having a rear spoiler means you have a fast car. On the contrary, a rear spoiler can add unnecessary weight that affects the overall speed of a regular car. Rear spoilers are best installed on F1 race cars to reap the aerodynamic benefits.

Are There Other Reasons Why Sports Cars Have A Stiffer Suspension?

Sports cars aren’t intended to be driven over daily-driven roads. They’re better suited for the race track. A race track has a very even surface negating the need for soft suspensions. Without any present road imperfections, your car will travel smoothly at high speeds without any jarring effect.

Is It Possible To Roll A Sports Car Over?

Sports cars are built to counter the forces of inertia effectively. The low center of gravity keeps the car grounded at all times even when cornering at high speeds. Combining the car’s weight, wide tires, low center of gravity, and aerodynamics, it is virtually impossible to roll a sports car over.

In Conclusion:

Sports cars have low suspension primarily to counter the effects of oversteer and under-steer on the race track while driving at high speeds. This, in combination with the wide tires, low center of gravity, and aerodynamics gives you the best performance on the race track.

Sports cars have low suspension and a stiff ride because of the road conditions they drive in. Race tracks are virtually smooth and have little to no imperfections as to affect the rider’s comfort. A stiffer suspension also increases the driver’s confidence when hitting corners at high speeds.

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